The experience of staff in dealing with client sexuality in services for teenagers and adults with intellectual disability.

Roy McConkey, Deirdre Ryan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Previous studies have focused on staff attitudes to sexuality rather than their experience of dealing with sexual incidents. A self-completion questionnaire was devised in which seven scenarios were proposed relating to client sexuality (e.g. public masturbation and accusation of sexual abuse). Staff noted whether or not they had encountered this type of incident and if so, how confident they felt (or would feel) in dealing with it and whether or not they would enlist the help of colleagues. Questionnaires were sent to all statutory, voluntary and private service providers (including schools) within one Community Health and Social Services Trust area in N. Ireland and 150 staff responded. Around two-thirds of staff reported having dealt with at least one of seven incidents listed. Staff with previous experience of the incident listed felt they could deal more confidently in future as did staff working in residential services rather than day services. The latter staff were more likely to enlist the help of colleagues than were residential staff. Nearly 50% of staff identified more training and clear policy guidelines as the two means of increasing their confidence in dealing with issues of client sexuality. These results highlight the need for staff training that spans agencies and that results in common approaches to client sexuality. Suggestions for further research are noted.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages83-87
    JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
    Volume45
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2001

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    disability
    staff
    experience
    incident
    questionnaire
    sexual violence
    mobile social services
    service provider
    Ireland
    health service
    confidence
    scenario
    school
    community

    Cite this

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    abstract = "Previous studies have focused on staff attitudes to sexuality rather than their experience of dealing with sexual incidents. A self-completion questionnaire was devised in which seven scenarios were proposed relating to client sexuality (e.g. public masturbation and accusation of sexual abuse). Staff noted whether or not they had encountered this type of incident and if so, how confident they felt (or would feel) in dealing with it and whether or not they would enlist the help of colleagues. Questionnaires were sent to all statutory, voluntary and private service providers (including schools) within one Community Health and Social Services Trust area in N. Ireland and 150 staff responded. Around two-thirds of staff reported having dealt with at least one of seven incidents listed. Staff with previous experience of the incident listed felt they could deal more confidently in future as did staff working in residential services rather than day services. The latter staff were more likely to enlist the help of colleagues than were residential staff. Nearly 50{\%} of staff identified more training and clear policy guidelines as the two means of increasing their confidence in dealing with issues of client sexuality. These results highlight the need for staff training that spans agencies and that results in common approaches to client sexuality. Suggestions for further research are noted.",
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    The experience of staff in dealing with client sexuality in services for teenagers and adults with intellectual disability. / McConkey, Roy; Ryan, Deirdre.

    In: Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, Vol. 45, 01.07.2001, p. 83-87.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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